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TS13: Not One

Friday morning Jove woke up early. He almost fell out of bed before he remembered it was elevated above his desk. He climbed down onto the floor and stretched lightly. His parents had wanted him to bring pajamas, but he insisted on just wearing sweats and t-shirts. The pajamas would make him look too much like a kid.

He walked out into the main room to find one of his roommates, the jaguar, lounging without a shirt in simple boxers. Jove blushed, and tried to duck back in his room.

“Jove,” the jaguar said, “I was wondering when I’d see you.”

The fox sighed, and thought there was no way to avoid this. He tentatively walked out into the large main room, and nervously sat in one of the chairs across from his roommate. The jaguar looked at him, and Jove felt he was being sized up.

Jove shivered. “It’s good to meet you.” The words just came out, something inside of him could tell something was different, yet not wrong.

The jaguar narrowed his dark red eyes at Jove. “Meet me? Who do you think I am?”

“You look like Tan, but somehow I know you’re not.” Jove shifted a little. “You’re the second magic aura.”

The black cat stretched, flexing his claws and fingers. He smiled, a toothy grin with sharp teeth. While he did look exactly like Tan, well, except for the eyes, his mannerisms were definitely more predatory. “You can see that?”

“No. Nothing that conscious. I just know you’re different.” Jove forced a smile and offered his hand. “It’s good to meet you. Is… are…” Jove stumbled, concerned he’d say something offensive.

The jaguar’s ears flicked forward. He watched Jove squirm for a few moments before he explained, “I am Takrai.” He slid forward, putting a hand on the arm of Jove’s chair. “You can call me Rai if you’d like.”

“Rye… Rai.” Jove gulped. “Are you the twin Tan mentioned?”

Rai sighed, the aggressive front dropping into a more relaxed and friendly look. “I really don’t know. There was a physical, stillborn twin for Tan. When I first showed up, everyone just assumed I was him. The divinations were inconclusive though.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up something painful.” Jove smiled. “Does Chris know about you?”

“I haven’t told him.” Rai shrugged, “I think Chris knows. He listens and observes. That’s how he pieced together that you were here. I think my presence isn’t as difficult to understand.” He purred a little, a low rumbling sound. “Still, with you around, I might have to come out more often. Has Tan told you how cute you are?”

“Me?” Jove squeeked.

Rai laughed. “He will. I hope not too soon. I’d rather enjoy you myself.”

“But, I’m not-”

“Not out to yourself yet?” Rai interrupted. “A pity.”

Jove cleared his throat, and changed the topic, “I suppose in CBE that Tan will look for a way to let you come out regularly? Or be .. uh… aware at the same time?”

Rai looked at Jove, still purring, then stopped. His ears flattened, “How do you know he’s not aware?”

“I…” Jove thought, there was no way he could know. Yet, he was sure. He was positive Tan wasn’t here. “I just do.” He blinked, “I’m reading your magic aura, but I never learned how to do that.”

“Instinct.” For a moment, Rai sounded like Tan. “It’s because you don’t have training. As you learn, you lose the ability to rely on your instincts but you will be able to use magic more reliably. It’s not until you reach the level of Animus that your instincts become tuned enough to reliably recreate complex spells. You’ll go over that in 096.”

Jove smiled, “I did manage to stop a spell during the scuffle with the bear. That was instinctive.” He looked at Rai, “So, you have a condition that makes it easy for me to train my own abilities? That’s some coincidence.”

“Silly otherworlder.” The jaguar purred again, “In your world, they do personality tests to match students. Here, they do divinations, see whose fates are connected, and not hostile, and hope for the best. Even if we weren’t roommates, it’s likely you’d have found me.”

“Because of my ability?”

“Because you’re a gamer. I assume you’ll be attending ARC next week.” He paused and noticed Jove’s confusion. “The Alternate Reality Codec club.” His ears flattened again, “Tell me you looked into the special interest clubs before you arrived.”

Jove blushed, “I assumed they’d have to deal with magic, and they don’t run during the summer.”

“They don’t officially run.” Rai leaned forward again, “I’m sure we’ll find people interested in playing with you.”

Jove gulped, “Please stop that.”

Rai pulled back and grumbled. “Fine. I’ll let Tan deal with the morning today.” He smiled, “Look, I’m not very good at making friends. I’m glad you’re taking this so well.”

“It’s alright,” Jove smiled back. “For some reason, nothing in this world has shocked me.”

“You’re still on a high from the elemental air.” It was Chris. Jove turned to see that the wolf was standing just inside his bedroom.

Jove shook his head, “No. It’s that these things are familiar to everyone around me. I know the world makes sense, and I seem to have a good feeling about the rules.”

Rai frowned. “You know, while Chris, Tan and I know you’re safe, word is going to get out that you’re a revoker. This intuitive understanding you have, people are going to assume it’s so you can hunt us better.”

“I don’t think-”

“You understood what I was just by looking at me.” Rai shook slightly, looking uncomfortable for the first time since Jove has met him. “Not through divination, not by ritual. You looked at me and knew how my magic interacted with Tan. A revoker can read magic. He intuitively understands all spells and instinctively knows their effects and how to counter them. You are displaying the abilities of a revoker and people are going to catch on.” He swallowed, his ears flicked. He looked at Chris, but the wolf showed no signs of wanting to interrupt. He continued, “You are going to scare a lot of people Jove. And scared people overreact.”

Jove nodded. “Everyone keeps comparing me to a revoker.” He laughed as an absurd thought entered his head. “Magus Azarias said he thought my abilities are what the legends are based on.” He smiled, looking from Chris to Rai and back again. “Do you have game stats for a revoker?”

Rai blinked. “Well, there’s a few different versions. Revoker: the Forgotten has all the variations I can think of.”

“Good,” Jove stood up. “Get some clothes on. We’re going to go through those powers like a checklist.”

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